Kauai trail reopened after fire
HAENA, Kauai » The Kalalau Trail was reopened yesterday after a brush fire burned for more than a week in a remote valley and threatened the only way to walk the Na Pali Coast.
The fire has been contained to a couple of hot spots in a steep section of Hanakapiai Valley, above the trail. While fire crews cannot reach it, the hot spots are surrounded by the charred area and will likely not rekindle again, said officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
However, the DLNR has asked Inter-island Helicopters, which helped with water drops to contain the fire, to help monitor the area from the air for any possible flare-ups while conducting tours along the Na Pali Coast.
About 50 acres have burned in the fire, which has been smoldering since Aug. 17.
The fire poses no threat to humans, and there is no significant risk to threatened and endangered plant communities, state officials said.
The trail has been checked by the DLNR and found undamaged by the fire. Boulders above the trail that were exposed due to the fire were removed yesterday.
No injuries were incurred by hikers or firefighters, state officials added.
Rail protesters head to high court
Stop Rail Now has gone to the state Supreme Court to get a petition initiative on the general election ballot attempting to block the city's planned $4 billion rail mass-transit system.
Earle Partington, the group's attorney, asked the Supreme Court yesterday to overturn a ruling by Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto that the anti-rail group needs 44,525 valid signatures, representing 10 percent of the total registered voters in the county in 2004, to place a question on the November ballot.
The group admits it doesn't have 44,525 valid signatures out of the 49,041 signatures submitted, but argues that the City Charter calls for only 15 percent of the votes cast, which would put them at a much lower number of about 30,000 signatures.
"It's do or die for us," Partington said. "If we don't win this, we will not be on the ballot."
The group has a Sept. 3 court hearing set with Sakamoto. Partington said this date may be too late since the city has to turn in all ballot information to the state Elections Office by Sept. 5.
The group is asking voters to create an ordinance that prohibits the city from using rail and trains in its mass-transit project.
If Stop Rail Now does not succeed in its petition initiative, the City Council and Mayor Mufi Hannemann have already approved placing a question on the November ballot asking voters whether the city should create a "steel wheel on steel rail system."
Teens can 'opt out' of military list
Public schools in Hawaii will give military recruiters the names and contact information for secondary students unless they receive written requests for nondisclosure by Sept. 15.
Federal law requires the state Department of Education to provide students' names, addresses and even unlisted phone numbers to the military's Inter-Service Recruitment Council in mid-October.
Any student or parent may submit a signed, written request that their information not be disclosed. They may write their own note or use the Department of Education's "Opt Out" form, which can be downloaded from the DOE Web site at http://doe.k12.hi.us.
Written requests to "opt out" of the list should be submitted to school offices no later than Sept. 15. If a request comes in after the list has been submitted to the military, the DOE will ask the recruiters to remove the student's information from the list.
For more information, call the DOE's Information Resource Management Branch at 692-7290, and press 5.
Police, Fire, Courts
2 dead and 2 hurt in Kauai crash
Two Kauai men died and a woman and baby were critically injured in a head-on collision in Wailua at 4:20 p.m. yesterday.
Kauai police said the crash occurred on Kuhio Highway near the Hilton Kauai Beach Resort.
A 42-year-old Kapaa man who was driving one of the vehicles died at Wilcox Memorial Hospital, police said. He did not have passengers.
A 32-year-old Lihue man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The woman, who is the wife of the Lihue man, and his 6-month-old child were critically injured, according to police. It was not immediately known who was driving the second vehicle.
The woman and child were airlifted to Queen's Medical Center on Oahu last night, police said.
Home destroyed in fire on Big Isle
Fire destroyed a house in the Hawaiian Shores subdivision in lower Puna on the Big Island early yesterday.
Fire crews were sent to 15-2800 Maikoiko St. at 12:19 a.m. and found the single-story wood-frame house engulfed in flames, according to the Hawaii County Fire Department.
Fire officials said the house was being renovated and that the lone occupant was not home when the fire started.
Firefighters called the house a "complete loss" and listed damage at $120,000. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Teens with lighter set Maui brush fire
WAILUKU » Several teen-agers playing with a lighter accidentally started the brush fire that burned an estimated 150 acres in south Maui over the weekend.
Maui Police Lt. Don Simpson said a 15-year-old Kihei boy was interviewed by investigators Monday, but no charges have been filed. "We're still investigating," Simpson said.
Simpson said four teenagers were apparently playing with the lighter. One of them, the 15-year-old interviewed by police, was taken to the police station in Wailuku by his father, Simpson said.
The fire was reported near the Wailea Fire Station at 4:24 p.m. Saturday and was contained by 7 p.m. Sunday.
The fire prevented several residents in the Maui Meadows subdivision from returning to their homes Saturday night, Maui County officials said. The fire continued to smolder yesterday.
Man arrested after causing accident
Police arrested a 21-year-old man who allegedly threatened to kill another man and allegedly caused an accident.
Police said that shortly after 6:15 p.m. Monday, a 21-year-old woman was driving in Waianae with a 25-year-old man when the suspect pulled his vehicle up alongside them. Police said the suspect threatened to kill the passenger and then sped up and abruptly pulled in front of the victim's car, causing a collision.
Police arrested the suspect on suspicion of second-degree terroristic threatening and first-degree criminal property damage.
Family seeks missing daughter
The family of a 16-year-old girl, who was a patient at Kahi Mohala Ewa, is asking for the public's help in finding her.
Roxanne Delgado was last seen about 4:45 p.m. Sunday at Pokai Bay during an outing with Kahi Mohala.
Her mother, Raylene Delgado, said her daughter requires medication for her mood and bipolar disorders.
Roxanne Delgado contacted her family from a pay phone in Pearl City yesterday, but claimed she was on the North Shore, her mother said.
Delgado is 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 130 pounds, has a fair complexion and was last seen wearing a blue tank top, blue cropped shorts and had her hair pinned up.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 911, or Raylene Delgado at 341-6343.
Man, 27, accused of beating cousin
Police arrested 27-year-old man for allegedly beating his cousin with a tree branch Monday.
Police said the suspect and his cousin, also 27, live in the same apartment complex in Waikiki, and were arguing outside their building about 7:30 p.m. over money.
The suspect then allegedly grabbed a tree branch and assaulted his cousin. Police arrested the suspect on suspicion of second-degree assault.